The stage is nearly set for the fall election. Candidates planning to run for the Iowa Legislature had to turn in their nomination papers by five p.m. yesterday. House Speaker Brent Siegrist, a republican from Council Bluffs, helped recruit candidates, he says the statelegislative races look to be the only concern in this election cycle.Republicans NOW hold a majority of seats in the Iowa House and Senate, which means the G-O-P gets to control the legislature’s debate agenda. Democrats believe they may have a shot at winning enough seats in the House to wrest control away from the G-O-P. House Democrat Leader David Schrader of Monroe says democrats plan to contest 81 of the 100 seats in the Iowa house.New democrat Governor Tom Vilsack appears ready to help Democrats raise money for their legislative races. Schrader says Vilsack will make a huge difference.Schrader says democrats have been on a roll — winning the Governor’s seat and all but one statewide officers’ post in 1998 — and it’s now easier to convince democrats to run for the legislature. Schrader says Vilsack personally helped recruit candidates. House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City admits Vilsack’s active role makes the 2000 election much different for Republicans.But Republican leaders like Rants contend they have a plan to maintain their edge in the legislature.Rants says Republican candidates are filed to run in 80 of the 100 House districts. He says they’ve focused on finding quality candidates.The Iowa Senate, where legislators serve four-year terms, seems likely to remain in Republican hands, as races will be run in just half of the 50 Senate districts. Democrats have fielded candidates in 22 of the 25 races. To see a full list of all legislative candidates who met the deadline, go to sos.state.ia.us/ on the Internet.
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